Can Cats Be Trained

A huge number of cat owners never even considered training their kitty, because of the common belief that cats are too independent or impossible to train. However, that opinion is based on a myth. Cats are very smart animals and can learn many things during their life, as well as be trained and change their behavior. 

What to Know Before You Start?

Basically, cat training is going to teach your cat to connect the desired behavior with a treat. You can use this chance to teach your kitty to acquire good behavior and get rid of some bad habits, but also to do some tricks for fun. 

It is true, even though cats don’t seem to be as friendly and loyal to humans, they can be trained to follow commands just like dogs. Training your cat can above all else leave positive results on your cat’s physical and mental health, stimulating them and helping to reduce anxiety, aggression, or other bad behaviors.

Some of the basic beginner’s guidelines you should consider are:

  • Get enough cat treats: Cats will need such motivation. They are still different from dogs, and they won’t be that excited to learn without getting a delicious treat that is worth it.  
  • Set the best time for training and stick to it: Cats have their daily routines, so try to fit into their “schedule”. The best time for training may be after they wake up and are energized and ready to play. 
  • Training sessions should be short: Cats don’t have a long attention span, so don’t try to train your cat for more than 15 min. After all, your goal will be to make small progress day by day, and not to teach your kitty all at once. That also means, don’t try to teach your cat more than one skill at a time, as that might overwhelm them.
  • Avoid other distractions: Try to find a quiet place for your kitty’s training sessions. Other people or pets in the room could easily distract your practice and cat’s focus.
  • Use consistent and clear cues: It’s very important to use the same words or cues when trying to teach your pet to memorize them. Otherwise, the training won’t be very productive. 
  • Repetition reinforces learning: Even when your cat learns a trick or a command, use it and repeat it often so the cat doesn’t forget it. 
  • Support positive behavior and progress: Focus on what your cat did well and support its learning. If you punish your cat for bad behavior, shout or spray them with water, the cat will rather just ignore and avoid you than learn from that. 
  • Patience: All pet training takes time, which requires patience, but be sure that your cat is very smart and will learn.

What Are the Most Common Training Methods?

You can train your cat with voice signals, a clicker, or hand signals. People are used to using their voice and words, so that type of pet training is probably the most common one. If you are using words as commands, try to connect a particular word to a behavior, and then reward your cat with a treat afterward. 

In another way, you can use your hands to give signals and commands to your cat. For example, you can make a fist when you want your cat to sit, and show an open palm for a high five. The cat will remember those commands, and associate them with the wanted behavior. 

Training with a clicker is also very effective. You can use a pen or anything that can make a clicking sound. Your cat will first connect the sound to a treat, and further on, to the desired behavior or new skill.

Enhance the Cat’s Good Behavior

As a loving cat parent, don’t forget that positive reinforcement works best when training your kitty. Be patient, and you can easily teach your cat to use the litter box without exception, to get inside the carrier when you are about to go, and even to do some funny tricks or sit when you want it to. 

On the other hand, maybe an even more useful fact is that you can train your kitty to avoid bad behaviors like scratching the furniture, destroying house plants, and jumping on countertops or your bed if you don’t like that.

Only a few minutes of your day dedicated to such training can do wonders. It will keep your loved feline physically and mentally engaged, and besides all that, you will create a stronger bond with your kitty.


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